2020 has been for the most part, a terrible year. As lot of us were stuck at home, Bandcamp started doing Bandcamp Fridays, Spotify started the ability to directly pay artists, and FEEDtheMUSIC was able to help select bands harness their communities to keep them afloat during the cancelations of every tour possible. The upside of being at home meant more time to search for bands online. With harnessing the power of Discogs, or going down a YouTube rabbit hole, maybe you found some new bands this year.
For me, the best find of 2020 is the indie rock band Fielding. I was a late bloomer when it came to the rock band Plankeye back in the 90s. My first cd of theirs was when I caught them on tour during their One and Only Tour with Morella’s Forrest. I dug it, my friends dug it and then a few year later their lead singer left and the band shifted gears. For me it was the type of shift that I didn’t even know I needed. I was at Juliana Theory show when the boys from the band coaxed us to their van to sell us cds. They offered this one with a twinkle in their eye, “the not yet released Plankeye cd.” This was an early promotional cd of what was to become Plankeye’s Relocation. This would become my favorite Plankeye album ever. The song, Goodbye, would be this song that so many people would identify with. A few albums later Plankeye would disband and their new sound would never take flight. Until, in my mind, 2020. For years, Eric Balmer, the one who started the new Plankeye sound and wrote Goodbye, would be writing follow ups to his gem under the name Fielding. Its Plankeye part two in my book and he picks up right where we left off back in 2005. I’m not sure why it took me 15 years to find him, but he is there waiting for you and he’ll welcome you back.
Start with Fieldings 2019 release: Rags of Light
Then 2013’s EP Our Side is An Ocean
Then 2009’s LP The Voice of Us
And if you were are still with us then check out the self-titled release put out on The Militia Group.
From their website: fielding, a critically acclaimed indie folk band, have carved their own unique niche in the Southern California music scene since 2004. Featuring the songsmithing of frontman, Eric Fielding Balmer (formerly of OC band, Plankeye), pared with multi-instrumentalist, Beth Balmer, fielding's music marries traditional rock instrumentation with delicate layers of piano, organ, strings, and accordion. The result is a distinctive sound inviting listeners to travel the spectrum between the bass-driven grooves of `90s Brit-pop and the timeless melodies of Middle-American acoustic ballads. With a wide palette of sounds and textures, their sound's identity has an enticing mystique.